Biosecurity baseline for a sustainable development of seaweed aquaculture in Latin America

Cynthia Mendez, Danilo e. Bustamante, Martha s. Calderon, Cecilia Gauna, Leila Hayashi, Daniel Robledo, Claudia Tapia-Larios, Iona Campbell, Renato Westermeier, Pedro Murúa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Seaweed farming worldwide has increased considerably in the last century. Latin America (LATAM) has an enormous potential to contribute within the medium/long term to global seaweed production. However, the seaweed sector is not exempted by risks (e.g. diseases and pests) overall understudied in the region, reason why biosecurity and traceability measurements may be needed to some extent. In this study, policies concerning biosecurity in seaweed aquaculture in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru were analyzed and classified for different categories. The results suggest that most of LATAM policies tend to focus on prevention measures, especially in ecological biosecurity problems, which are included mostly in general aquaculture legislations. Contrarily, economic and environmental risks are to a lesser extent covered. Furthermore, cryptic ecological aspects associated with farming such as introduction of host for diseases or genetic pollution are often overlooked, and therefore poorly managed. Within LATAM countries, Chile has the highest specificity in seaweed-exclusive legislation, likely associated to recent problems with pests and introduction of exotic species. Overall, there is a lack of information related to biosecurity risks of seaweed aquaculture in LATAM, similar to what had happened to other globally relevant producers in the southeastern Pacific that have experienced serious biosecurity problems in the recent years. Seaweed aquaculture is relatively incipient in LATAM region, but its sustainability as well as the associated food security systems may be at risk, unless new policies make compatible seaweed production and biosecurity practices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105933
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Policy
Early online date20 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Aquaculture
  • Farming
  • Framework
  • Policy
  • Seaweed


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